Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee
Wednesday, 12th September, 2018 2.00 pm

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Venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, Llangefni. View directions

Contact: Shirley Cooke 

Items
No. Item

1.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declaration of interest from a Member or Officer regarding any item of business.

 

Minutes:

No declaration of interest was received.

2.

Minutes of Meeting pdf icon PDF 334 KB

To confirm the draft minutes of the meeting held on 14th March, 2018, including matters arising.

Minutes:

The draft minutes of the Standards Committee held on 14 March 2018 were confirmed as correct.

 

Matters arising from the minutes:-

 

The Solicitor (Corporate Governance) has provided a “matters arising” document to all members of the Standards Committee detailing the actions which have been taken in accordance with the minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2018 in an email dated 6 September 2018.

 

Particular discussion took place in relation to the matters below:

 

Item 6 (Minutes 13.9.17) - Update on the adoption of the Amended Statutory Code of Conduct

 

The Chair questioned whether Llangristiolus and Bodorgan Community Councils had forwarded a copy of their minutes, confirming they had adopted the Code of Conduct?

 

The Monitoring Officer responded that she had received an e-mail on 16 April 2018 from the Clerk of Llangristiolus Community Council confirming its adoption of the Code.

 

In relation to Bodorgan Community Council, the Monitoring Officer confirmed that the Council had adopted the Code on 17 January 2017, and a copy of the minutes was forwarded on 14 March 2018.

 

Item 7 – Member Training and Development Plan

 

The Chair questioned whether Members had completed evaluation sheets following attendance at training sessions?

 

It was noted that members are actively encouraged to do so, but cannot be compelled; the above item would be discussed in Item 5 on the agenda.

 

Item 8 – Member Development Charter

 

The Chair questioned whether the WLGA ‘s Wales Charter for Member Support and Development self-assessment had been completed by end of April 2018?

 

It was noted that the Charter would be discussed in Item 3 on the agenda.

 

3.

Member Related Issues pdf icon PDF 440 KB

A report by the Head of Democratic Services so as to provide an update on various Member related issues.

Minutes:

Submitted - an update by the Head of Democratic Services on the following:-

 

  Members’ Annual Reports

 

The Head of Democratic Services reported that the Democratic Services Committee in March 2018 agreed a timetable for publishing Members’ Annual Reports by 30 June 2018.

 

Members of the Standards Committee showed concern that, to date, only 18 out of 30 Annual Reports have been published online.

 

The Head of Democratic Services confirmed that another 11 Annual Reports have been received, which are currently being processed, and will be published. He was unable to say precisely when but within the next three weeks.  It was noted that there is one Annual Report outstanding.

 

  Member Development Charter

 

The Head of Democratic Services reported that the Council is seeking re-assessment for the WLGA’s Wales Charter for Member Support and Development.  He stated that Members’ Annual Reports and Personal Development Reviews had not been submitted by the proposed date in April, therefore a revised timetable has been confirmed for re-submission during Quarter 3, 2018/19. The Reports and PDRs are a requirement for submitting the application.

 

  DBS Checks

 

The Head of Democratic Services reported that some Members and Co-opted Members have undergone an enhanced DBS check in accordance with the Council’s Disclosure and Barring Policy, actioned in consultation with the Head of Learning.  It was noted that the DBS checks are current and complete and will be reviewed by the Head of Democratic Services on a regular basis. 

 

  Members’ Biography on the Council Website

 

The Head of Democratic Services reported that Members have received 1-1 support on uploading training information and attendance at Committees onto the Council website.  He referred to a training session held in March, where issues were discussed with Members on how to present and access information on elected Members online.  It was noted that since April, information on attendance at meetings and training sessions has been published online.    

 

The Head of Democratic Services reported that the WLGA has published new guidance on social media for Members, which includes Facebook and Twitter.  He stated that the Chair of the Standards Committee has circulated the guidance to all Members. 

 

It was noted that the Head of Democratic Services is currently in discussion with the HR Development Manager regarding the best way of ensuring that Members have access to relevant training, including e-learning, and securing an external provider for social media training and to include keeping Members safe online.

 

  Outside Bodies

 

The Head of Democratic Services reported that outside bodies are reviewed annually by the Council.  He stated that a framework for monitoring key partnerships on a rolling basis was adopted by the Partnership and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee on 19 June 2018.

 

It was noted that in relation to ‘local’ outside bodies, Annual Reports provide an opportunity for Members to share information with the public on roles and activities.  In future, the format will be reviewed to allow Members to summarise their involvement on these bodies, rather than noting the number of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Member Development pdf icon PDF 383 KB

A report by the Human Resources Development Manager on Member training.

Minutes:

Submitted - an update by the Human Resources Development Manager on development opportunities offered to Members since the previous report to this Committee on 14 March 2018. 

 

A revised plan for 2018/19 was compiled with input from senior officers and Group Leaders to meet the objectives and priorities of this Authority. The Plan was presented and adopted by the Council on 15 May 2018.

 

The HR Development Manager reported that between 1 April and 14 September 2018, 10 formal development sessions had been arranged, with some dates having to be re-scheduled.  The topic areas included Safeguarding and Health and Safety, which are mandatory sessions. Where applicable, lay members and Standards Committee members were invited to attend specific training sessions.

 

It was noted that training delivery has been a combination of both officer led and external providers, with a substantial contribution being invested in the Scrutiny Training Programme.  The HR Development Manager stressed the need for all Members to attend mandatory training sessions, not only because of cost, but because of the nature of matters discussed in these sessions.

 

The HR Development Manager reported that Members are encouraged to use the E-Learning programmes and modules available to them.  It was noted that the E-Learning Officer has delivered a number of training sessions for Members, to meet their individual training needs.

 

Members raised the following during discussion:-

 

  The Modern.Gov system is not user friendly for accessing online attendance records for training for Members including members of the Standards Committee;

  Whether there is a timeframe for mandatory training sessions prescribed by the Welsh Government for Members? The Monitoring Officer responded that the timeframe for mandatory training prescribed by the Welsh Government is currently 12 months. 

  The need to ensure evaluation forms are completed following training sessions for feedback purposes. The Human Resources Development Manager responded that HR Officers actively encourage Members to complete evaluation sheets.

 

The Head of Democratic Services reported that only training records from April 2018 had been published online.  He suggested that the Chair attends the Group Leaders’ meetings to highlight the need for Group Leaders to ensure that their Members are made aware of the training sessions available to them. 

 

RESOLVED:

 

  To note progress within the Member Development Plan for 2018/19.

  For the Head of Democratic Services to discuss with the Human Resources Development Manager particular training on “social media” and the facility which is available for Members to include Facebook and Twitter etc. on their biography pages on the Council’s website.

  Whenever development sessions are held, elected Members to be reminded to update their online training records.

 

Action:  See Resolution above.

5.

Standards Committee Review of the Members' Registers pdf icon PDF 105 KB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the review conducted by the Standards Committee in 2017/2018.

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the review of the Registers of Interest for elected Members and co-opted members conducted between December 2017 and February 2018.

 

At its meeting on 13 September 2017, the Standards Committee resolved that correspondence be circulated to all Members confirming the outcome of the review.

 

The Chair of the Standards Committee attended the Group Leaders’ meeting on 26 April 2018 and Members’ Briefing meeting on 3 May 2018 to discuss matters arising from the Review of the Registers.

 

A general letter of advice was distributed to all elected and co-opted members of the Council on 3 May 2018.  

 

The Solicitor (Corporate Governance) highlighted ICT and communication issues as matters that needed to be addressed.  It was noted that progress has been made in relation to changes to each Member’s homepage, where new tabs have been added to access the following information:-

 

  Attendance at Meetings;

  Training;

  Annual Reports;

  Councillors’ Allowances;

  ‘Surgery’ details for regular appointments;

  Links to Members’ Facebook/Twitter accounts.

 

It was further noted that 9 Members have received personal letters to rectify errors, and responses have been received by all apart from 1 Member. 

 

The Solicitor (Corporate Governance) reported that a review of the 5 independent members of the Standards Committee was conducted by the two Town and Community Council members in June 2018, the findings of which have been shared with the Standards Committee members.

 

Individual letters of advice were distributed to the 5 independent members of the Standards Committee on 12 July 2018.  One member was requested to review the detail of his/her Standing Register, and the member has responded and acted upon the advice.

 

Members of the Standards Committee showed concern that as training records are held centrally by the Council, not all training completed by Members and members of the Standards Committee is recorded and available to view online.

 

The ICT Manger gave a summary of the Council’s Customer Relationship Management System, which will be operational by the end of the year. He stated that the system will make significant improvements to the Council website, and information will be much easier to access.

 

The Monitoring Officer highlighted issues of concern identified in the Modern.Gov system in relation to access to information on co-opted members. It was noted that there is no drop-down list for co-opted members, only elected Members for ‘Declarations of ‘Interest’, ‘Gifts and Hospitality’ and ‘training’. 

 

The ICT Manager reported that ICT had investigated whether additional text could be added to the system.  Modern.Gov responded that there are limitations in the system, and that it has been designed for elected Members only.  It was noted that ICT have now added a note on the Council website explaining how to carry out a search for information on co-opted members.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the contents of the report.

  To note the contents of Appendix 1 to the report

  To write to Councillor Bryan Owen, Group Leader in relation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Conduct Complaints to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales pdf icon PDF 895 KB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) in relation to:-

 

(a)      County Councillors, and

(b)      Town/Community Councillors

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the quarterly  update of complaints received by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales in the form of matrices for (a) County Councillors, and (b) Town and Community Councillors.

 

The Solicitor (Corporate Governance) reported that two complaints had been lodged by members of the public against Anglesey County Councillors for the period January to March 2018, and two complaints had been made against Town and Community Councillors for the same period.

One complaint was lodged against a County Councillor from April to June 2018, whilst none were received against Town and Community Councillors for the period. The Ombudsman decided not to investigate the complaints.

 

RESOLVED to note the report and its enclosures.

 

Action: None

7.

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales Decisions pdf icon PDF 250 KB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the PSOW’s most recent decisions in Wales.

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW)’s quarterly Casebook of Code of Conduct complaints.

 

The report included detail on complaints investigated by the Ombudsman in relation to alleged breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct by Councillors as per his Casebooks for January and May 2018.

 

The Chair reported that the Ombudsman has raised the bar with regard to issues he is prepared to investigate.  It was noted that he now concentrates on more serious complaints, and treats most issues between Members/Town and Community Councillors, as low key, below his threshold for investigation.

 

RESOLVED to note the report and its enclosures.

           

Action: None

8.

Adjudication Panel for Wales Decisions

It is usual practice for a report to be prepared to the Standards Committee by the Monitoring Officer on the APW’s most recent decisions in Wales.  During the period between the last Standards Committee on 14th March, 2018 and the day of publishing this agenda, no decisions have been published.  On this basis, no report is attached.

Minutes:

The above item was not discussed, as no decisions have been published by the Panel since the Standards Committee’s last meeting.

9.

Standards Committee Annual Report pdf icon PDF 857 KB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the Annual Report presented by the Chair of the Standards Committee at the Council’s meeting on 15th May, 2018.

Minutes:

The Chair presented the Standards Committee’s Annual Report for 2018/19 to the County Council at its meeting on 15 May 2018.  The report details the work of the Committee during 2017/2018, and includes the Work Programme for 2018/2019.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the Programme delivered by the Standards Committee between April 2017 and May 2018.

  To note the contents of the Standards Committee’s Work Programme for 2018/19.

           

Action:  None

10.

Local Resolution Protocol pdf icon PDF 1 MB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the Council’s adoption of the amended Local Resolution Protocol at its meeting on 15th May, 2018.

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the Council’s amended Local Resolution Protocol, which was adopted by the County Council at its meeting on 15 May 2018.

 

The Solicitor (Corporate Governance) reported that the Protocol has been published on the Council’s Intranet site (MonITor) and internal policy hub (Porth Polisi), and a copy was circulated to all elected Members and members of the Standards Committee on 22 June 2018.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the contents of the amended Local Resolution Protocol.

  To note the update provided in the report.

  To note that mediation training will be held on 18 September 2018 at Bryn Cefni Business Centre, Llangefni at 1.00 pm.

  For members of the Standards Committee who are attending the mediation training to ensure they have familiarised themselves with the Local Resolution Protocol.

  An update on the mediation training will be shared at the next meeting of the Standards Committee in March 2019.

 

Action: See Resolution above.

11.

Methodology Advice Note on the Review of the Registers of Interests of Elected and Co-opted Members pdf icon PDF 361 KB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) with a draft Methodology Advice Note for consideration by the Standards Committee.

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the above, for  consideration by the Standards Committee.

 

A review of the Registers of Interests of elected and co-opted members was completed by the Standards Committee between December 2017 and March 2018, as part of its work programme for 2017/2018.  (Matter discussed in item 5 of today’s Agenda). The Standards Committee were provided with guidance on what to consider, and how to report the information. 

 

A draft Methodology Advice Note has been prepared which details the documents to review, what needs to be considered within those documents and how to record findings made when Standards Committee members conduct the next review of the Members’ Registers of Interests.  The Methodology Advice Note will be circulated to Members, prior to any future reviews being undertaken. 

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note and approve the contents of the draft Methodology Advice Note.

  That the Chair of the Standards Committee attends a meeting of Group Leaders to discuss the contents of the Advice Note.

  That correspondence highlighting information discussed by the Chair in the Group Leaders meeting be forwarded to any Group Leaders absent from the meeting.

  The next review of the Members’ Registers of Interests will be conducted by way of a face to face exercise with one member of the Standards Committee and the elected Member considering the Member’s Register of Interests etc. This will be conducted in circa July 2019, after the Annual Reports have been published (in June 2019, as per the usual timetable).

  A copy of the Advice Note will be circulated to all Members prior to the review being conducted.

12.

Gifts and Hospitality - a Briefing Note to Members pdf icon PDF 630 KB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) attaching a proposed briefing note to be distributed to Members on the requirement to register Gifts and Hospitality.

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on a proposed Briefing Note to be distributed to Members on the requirement to register Gifts and Hospitality.

 

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (Wales) Order 2008, Members must, within 28 days of receiving any gift, hospitality, material benefit or advantage above a specified value, provide written notification to the Council of the existence and nature of that gift, hospitality etc.

 

Section 5.9 of the Constitution includes a Gifts and Hospitality Protocol, which assists Members in deciding when it is appropriate and necessary to register under the Code of Conduct.  The Gifts and Hospitality Register is available for Members to complete on-line.

 

The Solicitor (Corporate Governance) reported that a Briefing Note currently exists in order to complement the Protocol but the intention is for the amended Briefing Note to replace the current version. The amended Briefing Note is a simplified version, and contains practical examples.  She stated that the Briefing Note has been shared with the Senior Leadership Team and Heads of Service, and the response received has been positive. 

 

There followed a discussion in relation to the £20 threshold for registration; whether this should be increased or decreased. However, general consensus was that this level was reasonable. To increase/decrease would be a full Council decision but the Standards Committee could make its view known, should it feel the level was too low or too high.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the contents of the draft amended Briefing Note, and confirm its adoption.

  That the Chair of the Standards Committee presents the Briefing Note to a meeting of Group Leaders, and

  Following the Group Leaders’ Meeting, that the Briefing Note be distributed to all Members in the name of the Standards Committee.

 

Action: See Resolution above.

13.

Individual Right as Member - a Briefing Note to Members pdf icon PDF 456 KB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) attaching a proposed briefing note to be distributed to Members providing guidance to Members when they find themselves having to contact the Council in a private capacity.

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) attaching a proposed new Briefing Note to be distributed to Members of the County Council.

 

The Code of Conduct details the behavioural standards expected of elected Members, and provides guidance for Members on how to carry out their duties and their role within the Council in compliance with the standards required under the Code. 

 

The Solicitor (Corporate Governance) reported that it is often difficult for Members when they are acting in a personal capacity in terms of their individual rights as citizens, accessing Council services from a private capacity.

 

It was noted that the Briefing Note has been shared with the SLT and Heads of Service, and positive responses have been received.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the contents of the draft Briefing Note, and confirm its adoption;

  That the Chair of the Standards Committee presents the Briefing Note to a meeting of Group Leaders.

  Should the Group Leaders present require minor changes to the Briefing Note, these can be made with the agreement of the Chair.

  Should significant changes be proposed by the Group Leaders, the Briefing Note, together with the proposed amendments, will need to be presented to the next meeting of the Standards Committee.

  Following the Group Leaders’ Meeting, that the Briefing Note be distributed to all Members in the name of the Standards Committee.

 

Action: See Resolution above.

14.

Standards Committee Forum pdf icon PDF 3 MB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the Standards Committee Forum held on 29th June, 2018.

Minutes:

Submitted - an update report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the North Wales Standards Committee Forum held on 29 June 2018. 

 

The Solicitor (Corporate Governance) reported that a presentation was given on the WLGA’s draft Social Media Guidance for Members.  Since the Forum meeting, the document has been published by the WLGA, and Anglesey County Council Members, co-opted Members, and the Clerks of the Town and Community Councils have been sent a copy of the document on 21 August 2018.

           

The PSOW had shared the Guidance by way of a response to the queries which had been raised at the previous Forum meeting in relation to allegations of serious misconduct against members. Despite the initial document being a stand-alone Guidance, the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) reported that the Ombudsman’s Office intends to include the advice from the document as part of the Ombudsman’s Guidance, rather than as a stand-alone publication.

 

It was further noted that the Chair, Vice-Chair and Solicitor (Corporate Governance) would be attending the Standards Conference Wales on 14 September 2018 in Aberystwyth on behalf of the Isle of Anglesey County Council.  A formal update will be provided to the Standards Committee at its meeting on 13 March 2019.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the report.

  That members of the Standards Committee put forward any items to the Chair for inclusion on the agenda at the next Forum meeting.

  To note the date of the Standards Conference Wales on 14 September 2018, and for Standards Committee members to share any questions they would like the Chair/Vice Chair to raise on their behalf with the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales in his open session at the meeting.

  Any questions to be forwarded to the Chair/Vice-Chair by 13 September.

  That an informal session be arranged following the Conference to provide feedback by the Chair, Vice-Chair and Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on those matters discussed, to members of the Standards Committee.

 

Action: See Resolution above.

15.

Application(s) for Dispensation(s) pdf icon PDF 11 MB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) detailing the applications for Dispensation considered by a Panel of the Standards Committee since its last meeting.

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the outcome of dispensation applications received since the Standards Committee’s last meeting on 14 March 2018.

 

The Solicitor (Corporate Governance) reported that the Dispensation Panel met on 29 June 2018 and considered three applications for dispensation from members of the Beaumaris Town Council in relation to a single matter. The Solicitor gave a summary of the facts and the legal basis for granting the dispensations and any restrictions imposed.

 

Reference was made to the Guidance Note included in the report, which is intended as an aid for members of the Standards Committee when they sit on Dispensations Application Panels.  Following such Guidance will ensure consistency of members’ approach and thus ensure fairness for all applicants. 

 

The Vice-Chair requested that a correction be made to the report with regard to the dispensations granted to Councillors Stan and Jason Zalot, which states that permission was granted to ‘remain in the room during any debate/vote on the issue’. The Vice-Chair reported that permission to vote had not been granted to both applicants. The Vice-Chair confirmed the wording as per the minutes of the 29 June 2018 meeting is correct; it is the report which is mistaken.

 

Discussion focused on the exceptional circumstances where a dispensation may allow a person who has a disability to remain in the room during voting.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  That the Committee notes the dispensations granted and the grounds and circumstances in which they were granted.

  That draft minutes of the Panel which considered the three applications for dispensation held on 29 June 2018 were confirmed as correct by the Panel members (Michael Wilson, Islwyn Jones and  Keith Roberts).

  That the Guidance Note included in Appendix 2 be adopted by the Standards Committee.

  That the Chair of the Standards Committee present the Guidance Note to a meeting of Group Leaders.

  That the Monitoring Officer reviews the Application for Dispensation form with regard to ‘disability’. 

 

Action: See Resolution above.

 

16.

Town and Community Councils' Websites and Online Publication of Members' Register of Interests pdf icon PDF 2 MB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the responses received by the Town and Community Councils.

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the statutory requirement for all Town and Community Councils to have a website, and to publish certain information, including Members’ Register of Interests online. 

 

At its meeting on 14 March 2018, the Standards Committee resolved that the Monitoring Officer write to the relevant Town and Community Councils to clarify which Councils had complied.

 

The Solicitor gave an update and reported that 22 out of 40 Town and Community Councils had responded, and each one which has responded has a website. Only 2 of the 22 had not published their Register of Interests online.

 

It was noted that there are no penalties for Town and Community Councils for non-compliance in not having a web presence. 

           

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the information with regard to Town and Community Councils.

  That no further resource is utilised in relation to this matter, but the issue will be considered when the Standards Committee conducts its Review in the Town/Community Councils (discussed under agenda item 19).

 

Action: See Resolution above.

17.

Town and Community Council's Adoption of the Local Resolution Protocol pdf icon PDF 155 KB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the responses received by the Town and Community Councils.

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the above.

 

The Standards Committee, at its meeting on 14 March, 2018 resolved that the Monitoring Officer establish which Town and Community Councils have adopted a Local Resolution Protocol.

 

Correspondence has been sent to all Town and Community Councils to ascertain whether they have adopted the Protocol. 

           

The Solicitor gave an update and reported that 14 out of 40 Town and Community Councils have responded, and of those 14, 11 has adopted a Local Resolution Protocol.

 

The Monitoring Officer suggested that a question be raised in the Standards Committee Conference or Forum, as to what extent do Standards Committees of County Councils support Town and Community Councils with local resolution?  She stated that the role of the Monitoring Officer is to deal with high profile, difficult disputes, but clarity was sought regarding lower level issues where an intervention has been conducted by the Standards Committee.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the information in the report.

  That no further resource is utilised in relation to this matter, but the issue will be considered when the Standards Committee conducts its Review in the Town/Community Councils (discussed under agenda item 19).

  The Chair to raise the above question regarding local resolution in the Standards Committee Conference/Forum.

 

Action: See Resolution above.

18.

Town and Community Council Training for Clerks pdf icon PDF 256 KB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the responses received by the Town and Community Councils.

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the above.

 

The Standards Committee at its meeting on 17 September 2017 discussed the training and development needs of Town and Community Councils, their members and the Clerks of those Councils. As a result, correspondence was sent by the Chair to all Town and Community Clerks on 10 November 2017 recommending that each Council, when setting its individual precept for 2019/20, considered including an element for training Members and Clerks. 

 

Further correspondence was sent on behalf of the Standards Committee on 4 July 2018 to ascertain which Town and Community Councils had considered the recommendation made in the earlier correspondence.

 

The Solicitor gave an update that 17 out of 40 Town and Community Councils have responded.  All but one stated that they would consider meeting the cost of training in next year’s precept

           

Concerns were raised that the report includes a response from one Community Council which states that some courses held by One-Voice Wales locally are Welsh medium only. 

           

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the information in the report.

  That no further resource is utilised in relation to this matter, but the issue will be considered when the Standards Committee conducts its Review in the Town/Community Councils (discussed under agenda item 19).

  The Monitoring Officer to contact Valley Community Council to explain that bi-lingual courses and information is available from One-Voice Wales.

 

Action: See Resolution above.

19.

Review of the Town and Community Councils' Register of Interests pdf icon PDF 974 KB

A report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on the arrangements for the review which is to be conducted by the Standards Committee in 2018/19.

Minutes:

Submitted - a report by the Solicitor (Corporate Governance) on reviewing the Register of Interests held by the Town and Community Councils.

 

It is envisaged that the following documents dating back to May 2017 would need to be reviewed:-

 

  Register of Personal Interests;

  Declarations of Interest forms made in Council meetings;

  Agenda and Minutes for the Council and its Sub-Committees;

  A list of the names of all Member and copy form of acceptance of office by each current Member, including the statutory undertaking to comply with the Code of Conduct;

  A record of Members’ training.

 

A review of the websites will also be conducted to ascertain if all relevant information is included online.

 

A discussion was had in relation to which Town and/or Community Councils the Standards Committee wants to review, and the basis on which a decision is to be made. The Standards Committee was advised to consider the documentation included in Appendices 1- 3 of the report, in addition to those Councils that had failed to respond to the matters included in Agenda Items 16, 17 and 18.

           

RESOLVED:-

 

  To note the contents of the report.

  To confirm that that the Standards Committee will review the 5 Town Councils’ Registers of Interest (decision taken on a casting vote by the Chair).

  For the Monitoring Officer to produce a Methodology Advice note (similar to that produced in relation to the elected / co-opted members’ Advice Note (agenda item 11 today) to assist Standards Committee members when conducting the Review of Registers in the Town and Community Councils.

  For an informal meeting to be arranged for the Standards Committee members in order to consider the arrangements for the review.

  For the review to include the matters included in items 16, 17 and 18 today (namely, websites, local resolution protocol and training for members and Clerks).